Empty stadiums, broadcasting rights at half mast, the epidemic, French football clubs are suffering from the crisis with all their might. OL too. Lyon suffered a net loss of 50.6 million euros during the last six months of 2020. In particular, ticket revenues and television rights in free fall. This will not improve during the first half of 2021. However, Lyon does not want to delay or stop its future projects. Less dependent on TV rights than nearly all elite clubs (except PSG), OL has managed to diversify and create other sources of income around the heart of the football business.
“The Olympique Lyonnais model is based on several pillars, including flexibility and extremely rapid adaptability,” confirms OL General Manager Thierry Sauvage. If the impact of the pandemic is too strong for tickets and seminars, partnerships, player trading and branded products are showing strong signs of resistance. Preserving our developments and projects that were launched before the pandemic. To rebuild the repercussions, it must be accompanied by an ambition to be able to recreate an economic and social dynamic capable of creating job opportunities, to propose new cultural, sports and entertainment offerings that make it possible to form social bonds. “
OL will continue to invest (almost) as if nothing had happened. In particular, by continuing to develop “OL Vallée” around Groupama Stadium in Décines-Charpieu, about 15 km east of Lyon.
OL Vallée, what is this? Beside OL-owned stadium, a true ‘city within a city’ is developing. So far he was a bit dead, there was only the stadium. Soon, the site will become a real place of life. From 8 am to midnight. With a leisure center, tennis academy and 16,000-seat arena.
“Our model builds on strong fundamentals around men’s and women’s football, both in Lyon, but also in Seattle with OL Reign, continues Thierry Sauvage. We are building synergies with Asvel. (Editor’s note: OL capital income up to 30%)E-sports, futsal, which will be in the arena, tennis with the future all in. We chose to have medium, long-term, integrated and transversal approaches, with an idea that is not linear, but rather multi-dimensional, on canvas, and always in motion. This intersection is also reflected in the arrival of the entertainment center which will co-exist with Groupama Stadium year-round. “
At the end of February 2021, a large entertainment center will open: a set of 17 brands (bowling, City Surf Park, indoor football complex, Badminton and Badminton, Virtual Reality Experience, etc.).
In September 2022, a huge tennis complex is scheduled to appear. A tennis academy created by Thierry Ascione and supported by Joe Wilfred Tsonga, with 22 hard and clay tennis courts, one central court with 1,500 seats, 4 indoor paddle courts and a semi-Olympic outdoor pool.
Above all, OL intends to invest 140 million euros to build and construct a 16,000-seat yard, expected to start operating at the end of 2023. 100% private project, 100% OL. Between 80 and 120 events are planned per year in a 6,000–16,000-seat modular hall (concerts, seminars, basketball matches, and e-sports events). The Arena must host around ten Asville Euroleague matches annually, which would allow Villeurbanne to obtain a permanent member ticket for ten years. In the future, it is likely to host a major tennis tournament for professional tennis, and the world championships in basketball, handball and the Olympic Games. OL does not close any doors.
The general manager of OL concludes, “We preserve our investments to seize tomorrow’s opportunities which will allow our activities to flourish again.” Every time we unveil new projects, such as the ring, the strong enthusiasm of the public encourages us to persevere in this direction keeping in mind the comments made to us on environmental and social matters so that our model is recorded in a sense of history. “